In Canada, health care can be very expensive if you are not covered with proper medical insurance. Keystone College recommend that all international students have basic and extended health insurance for the duration of your studies.

Your first three months

If you have just arrived in British Columbia (BC), you will require private medical insurance for your first three months. You may register for private medical insurance with assistance from Keystone College Office.

After three months

International students will qualify for the British Columbia Medical Services Plan (MSP) after living in BC for 3 months. The monthly costs for MSP coverage is $75/month. (fees subject to change):

International students must also have a valid study permit to qualify for MSP. Your BC Services Card (Care Card) will expire on the same date as your study permit. When you receive a new study permit, you must send a copy of your study permit to the MSP office to extend your BC Services/Care Card. Otherwise, your medical insurance will no longer be valid.

MSP covers the cost of basic medical care within BC and Canada including most physician and hospital services.

The Medical Services Plan (MSP) provides the following benefits:

  • medically required services provided by a physician enrolled with MSP;
  • maternity care provided by a physician or a midwife;
  • diagnostic services, including x-rays and laboratory services provided at approved diagnostic facilities when ordered by a registered physician, midwife, podiatrist, dental surgeon or oral surgeon;
  • dental and oral surgery, when required to be performed in a hospital

For more information please visit the Ministry of Health’s website: or call 1-800-663-7100

Government Health Care Program

The BC Medical Services Plan (MSP) is the provincial government program that provides basic medical benefits.

Everyone living in British Columbia for more than six months is required to enrol in MSP (except students with existing coverage from another Canadian province or territory).

If you come to British Columbia without coverage under MSP or another provincial or territorial health plan and will be here for six months or longer, you should apply for MSP immediately upon your arrival. As there is a three-month waiting period before MSP coverage will start, you must ensure you have basic health insurance for those first three months in British Columbia.

Aboriginal Students

If you are a Status Indian, it is recommended that you also have your Status Card with you when accessing health or medical services, in addition to the health card (e.g., Care Card) from your home province or territory.

Domestic Students

Canadian students from other provinces or territories can remain under their home province or territory health plan as long as they remain students.